How Do YOU Fight a Cold?
It's that time of year - cold season (well it has been for a while). As many of you know or have figured out, I'm not a big fan of medication. Don't get me wrong - I'm very happy to live in our modern era, and am very thankful for innumerable medical advances. However, I believe that there's too much stuff being swallowed in the name of easing simple illnesses.
An ounce of prevention really is worth more than a pound of cure. Here are some simple things you can do to keep your immune system nice and strong:
- get enough sleep ~ 7-8 hours minimum is recommended for adults. Yes, you read that right.
- hydrate ~ I liked the Whole Life Challenge idea of 1/2 oz. of water per pound of body weight.
- low/no sugar ~ both bacteria and viruses like to feed on sugar. If you eat a low sugar diet, there's less for those buggers to eat!
- exercise regularly ~ duh!
- Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin ~ low levels of this hormone-like vitamin has been linked to an increased susceptibility to catching colds. If it's a sunny day, bask in some rays for some time. Otherwise, take a supplement. Supplementation amounts are subject to debate, however I would recommend either a vitamin D3 gelcap, or better yet, a liquid form.
And if you do find yourself starting to feel a little under the weather, you can:
- grab some Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar ~ it has both viral and bacterial-fighting properties, and is a general immune booster. Yes, I know it doesn't taste the best, but it really does help. We usually take 1-2 Tbs in a glass of warm water.
- say NO to dairy ~ all dairy is a mucous thickener, so steer clear when you start to get any kind of congestion. Breast-feeding moms, this does not mean you should stop breast-feeding your stuffy little one!
- Vitamin C ~ while nothing can really cure a cold, vitamin C can definitely ease symptoms. We use Emergen-C.
- get extra sleep ~ another no brainer
- warm liquids, especially teas and broths ~ the steam can help loosen up any gunk that's stuck
- nasal rinse ~ gross, but it really does help
The question often comes up if one should exercise while sick. My recommendation is that there's a fever involved, NO. If there's no fever, play it by ear. Sometimes getting up and doing something will perk you up a bit, however I wouldn't try to hit a personal record for much of anything!!
Of course if you eat the way these books propose, you're even less likely to get sick!